Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen (centre)
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen (centre)
Jamie Hardesty

Middlesbrough’s £100k Boho extension will provide enough space for 830 new jobs, says Mayor

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has announced funding to kick-start the next phase of Middlesbrough’s Boho Zone, the town’s flagship tech hub.

Boho Next Generation will provide another 10,000 square metres (107,639 square feet), reportedly enough space to accommodate 830 new jobs, following £100k of Combined Authority funding.

The proposal, according to Middlesbrough Council, will create a direct response to the needs of growing companies in Tees Valley, especially in the existing Boho developments, which are seeking additional space in which to grow.

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen said: “The digital sector is a key business area for Middlesbrough, and our existing cluster of high-tech companies have already established a fantastic reputation, as well as a pipeline of skills in partnership with Teesside University and local colleges.

“There is not enough space in this quarter to accommodate demand, and this is leading to a bottle-neck, which means that affordable space for younger businesses is unavailable.

“Digital businesses have told us that they are keen to explore the opportunity for long-term ownership of new premises. This would let them put down stronger roots in the area.

“This means a new model is required that will attract businesses, deliver new jobs with a long-term accommodation solution, financed through a combination of lease income and eventual sales, possibly on a lease-to-buy model.

“Teesside needs high-tech, highly skilled jobs and this development will create a range of work spaces in our thriving digital cluster, which supports the strategic investment and future ambitions of Digital City.”

Editor’s analysis

Middlesbrough has needed more space for its growing digital infrastructure for some time now. As we saw in the Tech North report earlier in the year, the area is actually outshining Sunderland in terms of digital GVA.

Not only is Middlesbrough bursting with digital talent and expertise, its tech community is incredibly passionate about the area and elevating Boro into the national tech fray. There’s a distinct appetite for more growth and success which needs to be reciprocated by local government.

Digital businesses have been vociferous in the need for more space and a secure future for Boho.

Hopefully this announcement can help foster more startups and provide the space for already established firms as they scale. The community deserves that at the very least.

What do you think? Is Boho Next Generation what Middlesbrough’s tech companies need to flourish? Share your comments below.

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